UK unemployment rate rises to 3.6 percent as vacancies drop

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Britain’s unemployment rate rose to 3.6 percent in the three months to September and vacancies fell for a fifth time in a row as employers worried about the outlook for the economy, the Office for National Statistics said on Tuesday.

Economists polled by Reuters had expected the jobless rate to remain at 3.5 percent.

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The number of people in employment fell by 52,000, more than the median forecast in the poll for a 25,000 drop.

British finance minister Jeremy Hunt said on Tuesday that lowering government debt was the only option to reduce inflation, as he reacted to the labor market data.

“Tackling inflation is my absolute priority and that guides the difficult decisions on tax and spending we will make on Thursday,” Hunt said in a statement, referring to his upcoming budget statement.

“Restoring stability and getting debt falling is our only option to reduce inflation and limit interest rate rises.”

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